Sun Protection–Are You Doing It Right?

The warm weather is officially here and it’s a great time to enjoy the sun, but just make sure you’re wearing sunscreen–at all times. Many people make mistakes when using sunscreen that could increase their risk of skin cancer, a new study suggests.

Researchers set up free sunscreen dispensers at the Minnesota State Fair and watched as nearly 2,200 people used them.

The researchers found that only 33 percent of people applied sunscreen to all exposed skin. Only 38 percent were wearing sun-protective clothing, hats or sunglasses. Also, use of the free sunscreen dispensers fell sharply on cloudy days, the researchers reported.

woman wearing sun hatThe study was published online May 16 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

“These results highlight some of the ways people use sunscreen incorrectly,” study author Dr. Ingrid Polcari said in a journal news release. She is an assistant professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.